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The Best Mobile Apps for Watching Video

Grab the best mobile video apps for watching video on your Android and iOS phones.

Apps in this Guide

While it's easy to stream videos on your phone using YouTube, for example, there are plenty of mobile apps for viewing, recording, editing, and sharing video with friends that you may not have thoughtmore

While it's easy to stream videos on your phone using YouTube, for example, there are plenty of mobile apps for viewing, recording, editing, and sharing video with friends that you may not have thought of. Watch TV shows, news broadcasts, and live streams of worldwide events on your phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I record what's on my screen?
For recording what's on your screen -- say, you want to capture the playthrough of a game -- look to a screen-recording app. You can capture your entire screen or a portion of it and pick quality settings. Some, such as Google's Play Games app ( Android), includes built-in screen recording tools for capturing gameplay.
What are the different kinds of mobile video players?
Which video player apps you use will largely depend on the videos you want to watch. If you're looking for user-generated video, for example, you'll want to start with the YouTube app ( Android and iOS). News? Try the CNN (Android and iOS) or CBS News (Android and iOS) app. Live gaming playthrough? Grab Twitch (Android and iOS). For live streams of events as routine as a snowy bus ride or as historic as a Senate vote, try Periscope (Android and iOS) and Facebook Live (Android and iOS). Cable-cutters can download apps for their favored services too, from Hulu (Android and iOS) to Roku (Android and iOS). For video stored on your phone, your stock video player should be up to the task. Troublesome videos beg for an app like the VLC media player (Android and iOS), which can handle multiple formats.
How can I create and share video?
For a polished video, look for an editing app that lets you work with clips and photos; organize and trim the clips, add music, transitions, effects, and titles; and then share through your favorite social service. If it seems like too much work, you can find apps that grab your video assets and automatically assemble a video for you. For something a bit more spontaneous, apps such as Snapchat ( Android and iOS) and Instagram (Android and iOS) let you capture short video clips and then share moments of your day with friends.

Best mobile video apps

Snapchat

Snapchat

With Snapchat, create and share short video stories with friends. You can also watch daily news shows created specifically for Snapchat, including NBC News daily show "Stay Tuned."

Hulu

Hulu

For cable-cutters, Hulu lets you watch current episodes, full seasons of shows, and a rotating collection of movies. You can also stream live and on-demand TV with a live streaming subscription.

Periscope

Periscope

With Periscope, you can share a live video stream from your phone via Periscope. Tap the Live button, create a description for your live video, and tap Go Live with a public or private broadcast. You of course can also watch live events.

YouTube

YouTube

And last but not least, if you want to watch user-generated video, you want YouTube. You have a bazillion videos to choose from, and if you are feeling creative, you have upload and edit your own video with YouTube's easy-to-use tools.